Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Jon Sandler and Luke Moellman, the masterminds behind the band Great Good Fine Ok, are back with another hit single, “Terrified” (ft. Pell). Their ability to craft music with a combination of electric elementals and hip-hop style has earned praise from fans around the world. The band is no stranger to performing live shows and is scheduled to start touring again at the end of the month, which includes stops at Bunbury and Firefly. Since their formation, the duo has collaborated with Foxes, The Chainsmokers, Twenty One Pilots, and now the rapper, Pell.
I had the opportunity to sit down and hear more about “Terrified” and Great Good Fine Ok’s upcoming tour.
Ariel Zedric: Tell me about the inspiration behind your new single, “Terrified”!
Great Good Fine Ok: People make decisions based on either love or fear. “Terrified” is about acknowledging and overcoming that fear. I think everyone can relate to being in a relationship that freaks them out in some way, and this is a tribute to that commonality.
Some of our songs come together quickly, and others take a while to reach their full potential. “Terrified” falls under the latter. We started it in 2017 on a writing trip in the Catskills Mountains (where we also wrote “Change”). Over the course of the next 2 years, we slowly refined the writing and production. We recorded a full horn section in LA, wrote a new chorus with Bryce Vine in NYC and added Pell, who wrote an amazing rap and whose voice set the perfect tone. Stylistically it turned into something very different for Great Good Fine Ok.
What was it like working with rapper, Pell?
Pell is the real deal – not only an amazing artist and performer but also a super nice guy. When he first sent us that rap, it was love at first listen. It perfectly encapsulated the vibe of the song.
When did you both first become interested in the genre of electric-pop?
The first song we wrote together “You’re The One For Me” fit the mold of “electronic-pop” and it just started from there. We’re both heavily influenced by artists like Prince and Quincy Jones style production, so we’re naturally drawn towards that style. We’ve both dabbled in many different genres in the past, but it seems like electronic pop is where our musical love intersects the most.
Walk me through your music creating process, about how long does it take? You both have different roles, so what does that partnership look like?
Most often Luke creates the music and sends it to me while I write the lyrics and the melodies. After that initial step, we go back and forth and polish up everything together. Many times lately, I’ll bring Luke a lyrical/melodic idea and we’ll build it from there, or we’ll create something together from scratch.
You’re also going on tour at the end of the month! What aspect of touring are you most excited about?
We love connecting with our fans and watching these songs come to life. Touring can be grueling, but feeling that energy every night makes it worth it. Honestly, we love every city and their unique idiosyncrasies. Each venue has a different vibe and its fun to be a part of it.
Is there a moment in your career so far that has left you both particularly satisfied or proud?
It’s been an amazing journey so far. It seems like every year we are surprised by opportunities that arise, and continue to be blown away by the support of our fans. We are just happy and honored that we get to continue to do what we love.
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the music industry?
Much like life, a music career is a rollercoaster with peaks and valleys. It can difficult to be patient when things are slow and have to hear the 100 “nos” before the 1 “yes”. There are more artists than ever right now competing for exposure, and it can feel disheartening. But, you’ve got to learn to love every aspect of this ride, and that very much includes the stress.
Have you ever doubted pursuing music? What inspired you to keep going?
Not really – I’ve known since I was about 8 that it’s what I wanted to do. Doing anything else has never felt like an option. I need to create to feel alive and every time I create it inspires me to keep going.
If you weren’t pursuing music, what would you be doing?
Maybe be a fashion designer or a filmmaker/writer. Or a sushi chef.
If you could give young aspiring artists one piece of advice, what would it be?
Do it because you love it, and don’t count on ever making money from it. If you want to be a songwriter, write songs all of the time. If you want to be a performer, go perform wherever you can. Don’t wait for anyone’s help – just do it. And don’t be afraid to collaborate.
You’ve worked with a lot of big names in the past! Is there any forthcoming project that you can tease?
There are lots of things in the works…but you’ll have to wait 😉
Who’s an artist you would love to work with that you haven’t got the opportunity to yet?
Any last thoughts?
Check us out on tour in June all over the USA!
Feature image courtesy of Great Good Fine Ok